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How to use Journal Writing Prompts

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If you are new to journal writing or simply looking for a way to refresh your current writing practice the use of journal prompts is a great way to begin.  For many facing a blank page is intimidating enough to not put pen to paper.  In this is a way using prompts can be beneficial.  It allows you to write freely from a given topic.  Having a topic provided for you frees you from the anxiety of wondering what to write about.  Here are a few more ways you can benefit from using journal prompts:

  • Emotional Outlet – Have you ever had a bad day and didn’t have anyone to share it with?  Maybe you have trust issues and worry about confiding in someone.  The privacy of your journal is always at hand.  Whether you use pen and paper or an app the ability to release those negative vibes can only be beneficial. 
  • Self -Awareness – Over the twenty-four years that I’ve kept a journal I’ve learned more about myself in my writing than any other method.  For example, I realized that I enjoy reading romance novels during the holidays by keeping a reading log on the back page of each journal I use.  I also released several negative aspects of my life after repetitively writing about them.  The awareness became a catalyst for me to take action.
  • Spring Board – The general act of writing can expand your thinking.  For example, writing about “trees” while utilizing a prompt entitled “look out the window, write what you see” requires you to think more deeply.  You may begin to question the root system or wonder how long ago the tree was planted.  Writing from this perspective shifts your focus away from daily life and encourages you to write with depth.

Recently I wrote from a prompt on used cars.  What began in my mind as a teenage starter car with no air conditioning became an homage to my dream car replete with road trip aspirations.  The beauty of journal prompts is that you never know where the road will take you.  Just start writing and see where it leads.  You may be surprised where you end up.  Enjoy the journey!

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